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The Ivors 2020 Call for Entries is open

Marking its 65th year, The Ivors will return to the Grosvenor House in London on Thursday 21 May, to celebrate, honour and reward excellence in songwriting and composing, recognising exceptional talent in British and Irish music writing. Songwriters and screen composers are invited to submit eligible works across the following categories:

Best Song Musically and Lyrically
Best Contemporary Song
Best Album
Best Original Film Score
Best Television Soundtrack
Best Original Video Game Score

Anyone can enter a work, including the songwriter or composer. To be eligible, works must have a British or Irish writing contribution of at least 33.3% and have been commercially released in the UK during the calendar year ending 31 December 2019.The deadline to enter is 23:59 on 6 February 2020. Visit here for full details and The Ivors Rules and Guidelines.

12 Irish Acts to Showcase at ESNS

Eurosonic Nooderslag will take place in Groningen this week and 12 Irish acts will be showcasing throughout the festival. Every year, the international music industry descends on the city on the hunt for the next big thing. The festival showcases acts from all across Europe and the full list of Irish acts selected for this year’s festival are – 

Alex Gough / The Clockworks / FEHDAH / Inhaler / Junior Brother / Just Mustard / Kitt Philippa / Lankum / Sinead O’ Brien / SILVERBACKS / Sorcha Richardson / THUMPER

Music from Ireland, the Irish Music Export Office funded by Culture Ireland and supported by IMRO, co-ordinate the Irish presence and promote the Irish acts to the over 2,000 delegates in attendance. The event also brings together all the national radio stations from around Europe under the European broadcasters banner (EBU), of which RTÉ 2FM is a prominent member.

Eurosonic is a really big date in the annual calendar for promoting Irish music and artists across Europe. Ireland has done very well at this event with Villagers, Kodaline, Hozier, James Vincent McMorrow and, more recently, Fontaines D.C. winning border breaker awards. It is an important event for acts to gain audiences and more importantly, work across this huge territory” said Angela Dorgan, Director MFI

Christine Sisk, Director, Culture Ireland commented: “The potential of this showcase opportunity at Eurosonic for musicians is well recognised.  Last year, Irish band Fontaines D.C. was the most booked band and Culture Ireland wishes the participating bands every success following in their footsteps.”

West Cork Chamber Music Young Composers’ Competition Now Open for Entries

West Cork Music are delighted to announce that the 13th West Cork Chamber Music Young Composers’ Competition is now open for entries.

String Quartet Composition Competition for Irish citizens/residents under 35.

 The work:
· Scored for string quartet (2 violins, 1 viola and 1 cello).
· 5-8 minutes duration.
· Has not been previously performed.

An international anonymous judge will select four winning scores. Each of the four winning composers will receive:
· €750 prize money.
· 3 nights’ accommodation at the festival.
· 2 public performances of their work by a conservatoire quartet at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

Competition deadline: 17th of March 2020. Competition entry is free.

For more information, please visit

RTÉ Choice Music Prize Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year 2019, in association with IMRO & IRMA, was announced today on RTÉ 2FM’s Tracy Clifford Show by Jim Carroll, chairman of the judging panel. The shortlist is as follows:

Daithi – L.O.S.S. (Strange Brew)
Mick Flannery – Mick Flannery (Rosaleen Records)
Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel (Partisan Records)
Girl Band – The Talkies (Rough Trade Records)
Jafaris – Stride (DFL)
Junior Brother – Pull the Right Rope (Strange Brew)
Lankum – The Livelong Day (Rough Trade Records)
Soak – Grim Town (Rough Trade Records)
Maija Sofia – Bath Time (Trapped Animal Records)
Sorcha Richardson  – First Prize Bravery (Faction Records)

The Irish Album of the Year 2019 will be announced at the Live Event and will be broadcast live on RTÉ 2FM in a special four hour extended programme from 7-11pm, with a special RTÉ Choice Music Prize highlights programme going out on RTÉ2 television the following week.

The 15th annual RTÉ Choice Music Prize will once again celebrate the best in Irish recorded music.   The Prize has become one of the music industry highlights of the year since its inception in 2005. The Irish Album of the Year award is chosen from a shortlist of ten albums by a panel of twelve Irish music media professionals and industry experts. The full list of judges is on the RTÉ Choice Music Prize

RAAP and Culture Ireland are also official project partners of the RTE Choice Music Prize.

Culture Ireland will fund the attendance of influential overseas Industry executives to attend the RTE Choice Music Prize Live Event and RTÉ Choice Music Prize “Conversations” will return and take place in IMRO during the day on the 5th.

Tickets for the Choice Music Prize live event are on sale now from all Ticketmaster outlets and from priced €28.00 including booking fee.

Minister for Education & Skills Launches Arts in Junior Cycle Initiative, ‘Me and My Music Spring 2020

An initiative that develops and nurtures creativity through a partnership approach between music students, their music teachers and visiting musicians has been extended to include hundreds of students across the country.

‘Me and My Music’ is an Arts in Junior Cycle initiative supported by the Creative Ireland Programme (2017 -2022 Pillar 1 Creative Youth, Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT), the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and Sing Ireland. 

This initiative got underway in February 2019 and included 300 first year junior cycle music students with their music teachers in 18 schools working with local musicians throughout Ireland. From September to December 2019, a second rollout was launched with an uptake of over 400 second year music students in 26 schools nationwide. 

Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, launched the next rollout of ‘Me and My Music’ for spring 2020 today at an event in Government Buildings with students from Central Remedial Clinic School, St. Pauls College, Raheny, and Tallaght Community School. It will run in schools nationwide for first year music students from January to May 2020.

In the ‘Me and My Music’ initiative, students, teachers and musicians work together to create a musical composition. The music teachers and musicians create an environment which allows students to experiment, take risks, explore new and challenging opportunities and reflect on the creative process. As well as developing the students’ creativity, this initiative offers opportunities for learning about vocal health and voice production. It also provides the foundational understanding of the value of music to the economy and the changing role of music creation in a digital era. It aims to equip future creators with the fundamental skills required for an evolving music industry. All this learning will enable and further support junior cycle music students in their engagement with and understanding of their new Junior Cycle music specification. 

On launching ‘Me and My Music’ Spring 2020, Minister McHugh said: “Bringing musicians, teachers and students together is a great way to inspire young people and encourage creativity. The expert advice that the students get in this project will stand to them for years to come whether it’s song writing or composition, keeping their voices healthy, recording, copyrighting and sharing music. They are all critical skills for anyone interested in the music industry. It’s bringing top class expertise into the classroom and it will be of real benefit for Junior Cycle students studying music.”

Pádraig Kirk, JCT Director said: “The learning that happens in ‘Me and My Music’, and in all of our Arts in Junior Cycle initiatives, is not just about the creation of an artefact or a piece of music, but encourages students to work collaboratively, to be inquisitive, persistent, disciplined and imaginative. Given the changing nature of knowledge and the pace of change in the workplace and in society in general, these are competencies and skills that are critical to the preparation of young people for life-long learning and living; a central tenet of Junior Cycle reform in Ireland.”  

Eleanor McEvoy, Chair of IMRO, said: “IMRO is delighted to work with JCT and Sing Ireland in this initiative and to engage with the new Junior Cycle music specification that is up-to-date and reflective of a modern music industry. As the representative organisation for over 13,000 members, at IMRO we are invested in the future of music and growth of creators and we hope our engagement in this initiative will make a tangible difference to Ireland’s future creators.”   

Dermot O’Callaghan, Chief Executive of Sing Ireland, said: “This exciting collaboration between Sing Ireland, IMRO and JCT incorporates a creative development of ensemble and individual singing in schools and classrooms. Singing is a whole-body activity that engages multiple senses synchronously. Singing is increasingly recognised as an important pedagogical tool for creative learning in music as well as in subjects other than music. Sing Ireland, therefore, recognises the enormous value of this work”. 

Creative Ireland The Creative Ireland Programme is guided by a vision that every person in Ireland will have the opportunity to realise their full creative potential. It is a five year all-of-Government initiative, from 2017 to 2022, to place creativity at the centre of public policy. 

Junior Cycle for Teachers Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) is a dedicated continuing professional development (CPD) support service of the Department of Education and Skills. Our vision is to inspire, support and empower teachers in the transformation of Junior Cycle education in Ireland. 

Sing Ireland Sing Ireland is the national representative organisation that develops and supports all forms of singing groups and choirs in Ireland. Their mission is to enhance life through singing by leading, enabling and connecting communities of singers in Ireland. 

The Ivors | Rising Star Award with Apple Music

Presented at The Ivors on 21 May next year, the Award will honour young British or Irish songwriting and composing talent who demonstrate exceptional potential and ambition. The Award is open to music creators across all genres aged between 18-24. In addition to receiving an Ivor Novello Award at the ceremony, the winner will also receive ongoing support and mentorship from the Apple Music team.

The Rising Star Award with Apple Music is free to enter, and entrants must be an Under 25 member of The Ivors Academy. Entries are open now and will close on Monday 16 December 2019.

The introduction of the new Award comes after last month’s announcement detailing a three year collaboration between The Ivors Academy and Apple Music, which looks to bring wider exposure and development opportunities for members of the Academy and the community of music creators.

Enter >>> here

RTÉ Choice Music Prize Returns for Its 15th Year

In association with IMRO and IRMA
Vicar Street, Dublin – Thursday 5th March 2020 | Tickets on sale this Friday 29th November

RTÉ Choice Music Prize is back and continues to champion Irish music.  Key dates for 2020’s event announced today live on 2FM’s Tracy Clifford Show by previous nominees, The Academic.

The RTÉ Choice Music Prize Live Event will take place on Thursday 5th March 2020 in Vicar Street, Dublin. Tickets go on sale this Friday 29th November at 9am from Ticketmaster outlets and priced €28.00 including booking fee.

Other key dates include:
Irish Album of the Year 2019 Shortlist Announcement – Wednesday 8th January 2020.
Irish Song of the Year 2019 Shortlist Announcement – Wednesday 29th January 2020.

The Irish Album of the Year 2019 will be announced at the Live Event and will be broadcast live on RTÉ 2FM in a special four hour extended programme from 7-11pm, with a special RTÉ Choice Music Prize highlights programme going out on RTÉ2 television the following week.

We are delighted to continue our longstanding association with Irelands critically acclaimed music prize. Irish music continues to push new boundaries and the Choice Music Prize provides a great platform for new music to resonate so strongly with audiences in Ireland and important overseas markets”. Victor Finn, Chief Executive of IMRO.

Adrian Lynch, Head of Audiences, Channels and Marketing, RTÉ, said, “Our channels are once again ready to play a central role in helping all this year’s nominees make a big impact and reach new audiences. From the strong engagement we get across our social channels to the positive reaction we receive to our broadcast of the awards event, we are looking forward to doing all we can to make 2019 another year to remember for all nominees.”

Dan Healy, Head of RTÉ 2FM, said, “The RTÉ Choice Music Prize continues to provide a wonderful opportunity, not just on 2FM, but right across RTÉ to shine a spotlight, like no one else, on the very best in Irish music- and what a year it has been. There are so many incredible Irish artists right now and we are more than happy to support them on 2FM. Our all-Irish music days, which we developed to support our RTÉ Choice Music Prize partnership, remain one of the most popular things we do on the station. So, here’s to another great year for Irish artists and for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize on 2FM.”

RTÉ Choice Music Prize ‘Conversations’ will return and take place at IMRO HQ on the day of the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Live Event. ‘Conversations’ is an international music forum designed to encourage frank exchanges amongst panellists and with the audiences to challenge and elucidate the biggest prevailing issues confronting artists and industry professionals.

The 15th annual RTÉ Choice Music Prize will once again celebrate the best in Irish recorded music.   The Prize has become one of the music industry highlights of the year since its inception in 2005. The Irish Album of the Year award is chosen from a shortlist of ten albums by a panel of eleven Irish music media professionals and industry experts.

The winning act will receive €10,000, a prize fund which has been provided by The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA).

The Choice Music Prize continues to highlight new music in Ireland.  IRMA supports the Choice Music Prize as it recognising the extraordinary talent that has emerged in recent times in Ireland.  Irish acts continue to shine at home and abroad reaffirming our position as a source of enviable musical talent.   The Choice Music Prize honours these talents and IRMA congratulates all nominees and wishes them the best of luck for the future.” Willie Kavanagh, Chairman of IRMA.

All shortlisted acts will receive a specially commissioned award.

RAAP and Culture Ireland are also official project partners of the RTE Choice Music Prize.

Culture Ireland will fund the attendance of influential overseas Industry executives to attend the RTE Choice Music Prize Live Event on March 5th.

The Choice Music Prize website has published a list of Irish albums released to date in 2019. This list can be viewed at and notified by email regarding any additions moc.ezirpcisumeciohc@ofni

Tickets for the Choice Music Prize live event will go on sale from all Ticketmaster outlets and from on this Friday 29th November priced €28.00 including booking fee.

LAUNCH IMAGES ISSUED BY MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY (featuring RTÉ 2FM presenter, Tracy Clifford, RTÉ presenter, Blathnaid Tracy and Craig Fitzgerald and Matthew Murtagh of Irish band and previous nominees, The Academic)

Michael O’Riordan | Watermill Music Publishing | RIP

The Boards of the Irish Music Rights Organisation CLG (IMRO), Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (Ireland) Ltd (MCPSI) and the Music Publishers Association of Ireland would like to acknowledge the very sad news of the recent passing of their friend and colleague Michael O’Riordan. Michael was a major player in the success of Release Records in the late 1960s, when the Irish music scene was mainly dominated by that label and its unrivalled catalogue of showbands, ballad singers and cabaret acts. He was an unrelenting campaigner for more use of all types of Irish music on radio and television. More recently he concentrated on the publishing side of the business through his Watermill publishing company. He also devoted much of his time to mentoring those coming up through the music industry. He was a director and committee member of IMRO and MCPSI, served on the Music Board of Ireland and was the current president of the Music Publishers Association of Ireland.

He is survived by his wife Dorothy and children Sinead, Catriona and Emmet.

Farewell dear friend.

Paris Texas Named Irish Pub of the Year 2019

Paris Texas in Kilkenny is celebrating after being named National Pub of the Year at the Irish Pub Awards 2019.  The Kilkenny pub was crowned national champion after winning the Innovative Pub of the Year, one of nine categories announced at last night’s Gala Awards in the Concert Hall, RDS, Dublin 4. 

The Irish Pub Awards are jointly presented by Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) and The Licenced Vintners Association (LVA). This year over 1,700 applications were made to the Irish Pub Awards which are now in their third year. This figure has trebled since the introduction of the awards, which proves that this programme is being recognised by publicans around Ireland as a valuable way to promote their business.

Ever since Paris Texas was set up in 1996 by Pat Crotty, the pub has set out to be significantly different from its competitors.  It offers a new concept in food, along with entertainment most evenings and serves an extensive range of beer and spirits to challenge its customers’ taste buds. Since 2006, continuous development of Paris Texas has included redevelopment of the premises, the introduction of innovative new products, technology systems and significant investment to ensure environmental sustainability.

The Irish Pub Awards nine category winners are:

  • Best Music Pub sponsored by IMRO: Kavanagh’s Bar and Venue, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.
  • Best Food Pub sponsored by Musgrave MarketPlace: Murph’s Gastro Pub at Derragarra Inn, Butlers Bridge, Co. Cavan.
  • Best Tourist Pub sponsored by Molson Coors: Malzards Pub, Stoneyford, Co. Kilkenny.
  • Innovative Pub of the Year sponsored by Bank of Ireland Payment Acceptance: Paris Texas, Kilkenny.
  • Best Local Pub sponsored by Diageo: Harry Byrne’s Pub, Clontarf, Dublin 3.
  • Outstanding Customer Service sponsored by Heineken:  Aunty Lena’s and Adare Court House, Adare, Co. Limerick.
  • Best Outdoor Space sponsored by Bulmers:  The Courtyard on Sober Lane, Sullivan’s Quay, Cork.
  • Best Newcomer sponsored by Edward Dillon: The Rusty Mackerel, Teelin, Co Donegal.
  • Best Late Night Bar sponsored by Irish Distillers – Pernod Ricard: Café en Seine, Dublin 2.
Best Music Pub : Padraic McGann, President VFI, Sarah Sweetnam, Financial Director, IMRO, Gavin Fitzpatrick, PJ Kavanagh, Niamh Kavanagh, Matthew Daly Minogue, Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue, Portlaoise, Laois, Ronan Lynch, Chairman LVA. (c) Conor McCabe Photography

Speaking at the Irish Pub Awards: Padraic McGann, VFI President expressed his delight at the number of award entries this year and congratulated all the finalists:  “Paris Texas and all tonight’s winners and finalists represent the very best in Irish pubs around the country.  All winners faced very stiff competition to reach the final.  Irish pubs are the hub of any community – a warm destination to meet friends where they can enjoy good food and drink, music and entertainment and where tourists can mingle with locals to experience an Irish atmosphere at its best.  These awards reflect the high quality of our pubs across Ireland, their ongoing investment in raising standards and their importance as community centres.”

LVA Chairman, Ronan Lynch added: “The Irish Pub Awards have clearly established themselves as the definitive awards programme within the pub industry by trebling the number of entries in this its third year to over 1,700.  The programme has been acknowledged for the excellent national and local media coverage attained along with the in-depth management training that all finalists have received that is beneficial to their business. We are very pleased with the growth and success of the Awards in such a short time and it has now become a great vehicle to highlight the vital contribution that pubs make to Irish business, community and tourism.”

Bob Gallagher and Lankum win Best Irish Music Video at Irish Film Festival London

Irish filmmaker and visual artist Bob Gallagher has won the Best Irish Music Video Award for his work directing ‘The Young People‘ for the band Lankum, at the 2019 Irish Film Festival London. The video was originally premiered with a feature on the American music website Billboard. ‘The Young People’ explores body language, characterisation and how micro narratives can be gleaned from focusing on just people’s feet. Using a mix of documentary footage captured around Dublin City and a performance by the band, the video touches delicately on the theme of suicide, contrasted with the ephemeral movement of bodies through the city over the course of an autumn morning. 

The award ceremony was hosted last week at the Irish Embassy in London. Bob also received a second nomination for his work with Junior Brother on the video for ‘Full of Wine‘. This is Bob’s second time winning the award at the London Irish Film Festival. In 2018 he received the Best Irish Music Video award for his work with Pillow Queens on the video for ‘Favourite‘. He was also nominated in 2018 for Villagers ‘Fool‘. 

Bob was recently featured in the October edition of Totally Dublin Magazine as one of five leading Irish filmmakers working in the medium of music video. The article, which describes Bob as ‘One of the nation’s premiere creative forces in the visual arts‘ can be viewed here.

Gallagher has crafted award winning music videos collaborating with acts such as Girl Band, Villagers, SOAK, Lisa Hannigan, Pillow Queens, Junior Brother, Myles Manley and James Vincent McMorrow.  His recent video for ‘The Young People’ by Lankum is one of a series of videos he has been commissioned to make by renowned London label Rough Trade Records, which this year also included a collaboration with contemporary dancer Oona Doherty for Girl Band’s ‘Shoulderblades‘. 

In 2017 Bob was hand picked to attend a ten day practical workshop in Cuba with Werner Herzog, after which he was declared by Herzog to be a ‘Good Soldier of Cinema’. The workshop resulted in two short documentary films currently on the festival circuit, ‘Salon’ and ‘The Impossible Flight of the Stone’. 

Bob was invited earlier this year by Dublin City Council to stage a retrospective of his music video work titled ‘Under My Garage‘ at the Music Town Festival in Dublin. Taking the form of a fictional late night talk show, Under My Garage combined live music, visuals, and on-stage interviews centred around Bob’s music video work. The performance included appearances from Villagers’ Conor O’Brien, Girl Band, Pillow Queens, Ena Brennan, Participant, Cal Folger Day and Myles Manley. This year also saw Bob stage his first solo photography exhibition ‘Forced Perspectives‘ as part of an artist residency at The Darkroom, Dublin. which went on to feature in the Photo Ireland Festival. Bob was also invited to participate in the inaugural Fermanagh-Omagh District Council International Artist’s Residency, working with young people across loyalist and nationalist communities to create short film projects. 

Bob is currently based in New York City where he is developing his first feature film script. 

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